Thursday, December 24, 2009
It's All in the Motion
Got it figured out! Just Dance doesn't track physical location. It tracks momentum. The Wiimote's accelerometers are what's being used, almost exclusively. Subtle movements, slow movements, swift movements. This is how the scoring system works, and it's quite subtle. By slowing my movements in half, my scores have immediately doubled.
What's more, I've discovered a nasty little secret about this game: you don't need to follow the dancers at all. Not one bit. As long as you keep the proper tempo, and move your Wiimote at the key moments, you can perform any dance moves you wish. You can even sit on the couch and do nothing but turn your wrist. That's what I've done just now, in fact.
This has definitely proven one thing: the "hardcore" game critics who bashed this game so mercilessly have no clue what they are talking about. I doubt any of them even bothered to play more than one or two songs. If I could crack this nut on the first night, then they should have, too. They're not even trying. Frankly, if this is what passes as video game journalism in 2009, then we need to sweep out the whole damned lot.
This also raises the possibility of real improvisation in Just Dance. The Wiimote is only paying attention to the acceleration. That means you have far more freedom than Ubisoft has let on. I suspected all along that this game offered more freedom than the Dance Dance Revolution school of rhythm games. I think we're going to discover just how much freedom we've got.
Just Dance is the spiritual cousin to Wii Music. They're poinitng the way to the post-DDR, post-Guitar Hero world. And that revolution can't come soon enough. This is easily one of the year's best video games.